Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Siege of Gondor - A Review

After five battles it seems like the Gondorians came out just on top.
With two minor and a major victory, against two major victories.

Although I did complete the Epilogue, the pyre of Denethor, a school-boy error in the game meant the result was inconclusive.

Now I'll go through some of the tactics that I learnt and tried to employ, some huge mistakes and points to be learnt from.


Some struggles here
Objectives - Models entered sides of the board on a D6 system. So try to place models, when you get the chance, as close to key fighting points and near objectives to win the game.
Rather than trying to win smaller skirmishes in the corners of the field and deploying near them, Losing means enemy models will simply need more turns to reach objectives.

Orc traffic through Osgiliath
Travel routes - The orcs moved through the ruined city in groups of three to six, which means they can be flexible to disperse your troops in key places and effectively deal with the Gondorian defences. 

One of the mistakes here was that the objectives were unfairly placed, the orcs could get more easily to three of them, while the Men could only get easily to one of them.

Act One

The Gondorians guard the palisade very thinly
Hold the line - Initially I thought that the Gondorians could hold the line at the palisade and prevent the orcs getting more than two objectives. However the morannons promptly cut down one or two of the defenders, easily as they need 4's and 5's to wound, and the entire flank collapsed equals loss.
The line was too thin. So maybe a better strategy would be to try and hold the two keeps?
Bar the gate - Placing a group of men with Faramir at the gate to prevent any of the ladders getting through, would not only delay the ladders arrival at the walls, but give plenty of shooting opportunities for the archers and rangers

Two-pronged attack on the sparsely numbered men
Two pronged - Have small groups of morannons to break the line, and help the other orcs breach the palisade. After breaking the defensive line, victory should be easy with superior numbers.
Stubburn defence - If they defend the keeps, get a small contingent, 12 warriors plus two captains to hold the gate while the ladders are ferried through, use the contingent to shield the ladders approach to attack the main keep, the rest of the orcs attack the ruined keep.

Beregond was used as a proxy for Damrod, and the captain of Gondor for 6 warriors of Minas Tirith.

Act Two

The defender needs to prevent the gate from being breached, the siege bow and ram will do it within 6-8 turns with no resistance, then Gothmog and the captains should easily kill any defenders at the gate. 

Orcs are ordered over to the siege bow assisting the
lone crew-member in firing at the gate
So shoot down ram and bow crew with the rangers and archers, each delayed turn is important. The ladders should be simple enough to hold, focus on pushing down ladders over surrounding any enemy models that make it onto the ramparts.

The opposite are the pointers for the attacker if crew members are being constantly killed it will take nine or ten turns to get attackers on the ramparts.

The archers fire on the ram-crew downing two of them,
as they smash a small opening in the gate

Kill archers on the wall with the orcs. Fortunately the orc archers in my game killed all four of the rangers. Have a couple of orcs stationed as untrained crew in the case of on of the crew being killed. If you do get models on the ramparts, engage as many defenders as possible and draw archers into fights.

Act Three
The easiest two objectives are to stay above 25% and to prevent 10 or more models getting behind the ramparts. If Faramir is saved in the knights charge then even better.
The Knights charge takes more orcs out of the ladder carrying picture

Holding up ladders - The knights although they are saving Faramir, can delay each ladder while they have sallied forth, they are little use behind walls. So by engaging ladders delays them by two turns minimum, assuming they are killed upon charging.

The captain holding the ladders on the southern flank back
Captain of Knights - Having a hero sally forth with the knights allows for a greater priority influence, which means they can have charge bonuses and maybe even save Faramir.

But the bolt thrower gets the last kill
Bolt Thrower - Equipping this with swift reload, can make for some interesting killing, aiming at the right battlefield targets, ram crew, morannons and heroes can stall the ram, and wound harder to kill models.

The knights and rangers are almost eradicated, Gothmog orders his
minions into the full assault with a clear stream of orcs coming to the field
Although the Mordor player gets all dead returned to the field edge, at some point models returning will not be able to reach the walls before turn fifteen.
Furthermore the returning orcs will be in small groups which are easier for archers and the defenders to deal with.

Half-out attack -The Mordor player needs to carry two-thirds of the ladders, four, and use the remaining orcs to shield them from the knights assault.

One of the mistakes here was that, a ladder carrier cannot fight after dropping a burden, unless charged, as several of the orcs broke this.

Act Four

Kill the Trolls! - The main threat to the defender is the presence of trolls, two Mordor trolls should be used both for pushing the towers. If two trolls try to go through the gate, they will be stalled by the defenders and their own battering ram. Which if stopped a troll should try to break through the gate.

Another ladder is dropped as the first siege tower reaches the wall
Limited orcs - Unlike the previous act, you have a finite number of orcs. If the defender stalls the attack, they can pepper you with arrows and the assault will fall short. You may have to abandon ladders so the assault can progress at all.

And ladders are thrown up. The witch-king shouts "Your staff is broken",
but this is lost in the background battle noises 
Duel of casters - Try not to break Gandalf, it will take to long or have little effect as he is just as good in the scenario without the staff. Focus on killing crew members, Beregond and controlling individual defenders from pushing down ladders, immobilising them etc...

The troll chief pushes down the gate, and  through three men
Keep the gate - This is the main access point on the field, if breached let a troll fill the gap, preventing the other orcs getting behind too *evil laugh*. Although it may kill many so keep reinforcements coming down from the ramparts.

The bolt thrower and archers volley, taking down five orcs.
Gandalf casts a spell, lifting an orb of blinding light around the men nearby
Archery - The easiest way to win. Keep a two-one kill ratio so the raised ladders can be met with two shielder-s rather than one man against a captain. Aim to kill bearers on one ladder than single on all of them and use the bolt thrower on the ram crew, prevent the ram getting to the gate.
Furthermore as a defender you want at least 24 warriors of Minas Tirith for the last two scenarios, as an attacker, try to have 50% of all infantry as morannons for all the battles.

Next time shall be some time over Christmas when the Face-off will be revisited once more...

Until then


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